WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), and as a result, there are lots of myths and misconceptions about its capabilities and potential flaws.
In this piece, we’ve collated the top 5 we regularly encounter when working with clients and explain why they aren’t true.
The most common misconception is that WordPress has security issues which make it an unsuitable platform for many businesses. This is incorrect. WordPress is an open-source CMS, and it is also very popular, which does make it more of a target to hackers and external threats. WordPress itself is no different from any other piece of software. As long as it’s kept up to date, it will be no more or less secure than any other CMS. However, where WordPress is open source, and very popular, there are many third-party themes and plugins available. Quite often, it’s these themes and plugins – not WordPress – that have security vulnerabilities as not all of them are produced to a high enough standard.
By following best practice, there are plenty of ways you can mitigate any potential threats.
Firstly, try to keep the number of plugins and themes that you use to an absolute minimum and only use those created by established, credible providers. There will be a big difference between themes and plugins produced by enterprise-level organisations such as Automatic (WooCommerce), Ninja Forms, Gravity Forms, Yoast and others, compared to smaller-scale developers.
We’d recommend working with a specialist agency who can recommend the best plugins to use, or better still, choose them for you. Ideally, we’d advise commissioning a custom solution created around your specific requirements and avoids the need for third-party bolt-ons.
Most crucially, keeping your website up to date is a must. So we recommend finding an agency who can also maintain your site including updates to plugins and your WordPress core. This way, you’ll be able to ensure your website is always running at peak performance, that any issues are avoided and increase your site’s longevity.
Lastly, we’d recommend using a security monitoring service such as Sucuri or CloudFlare, who can provide automated security solutions, including website firewalls, to protect websites against the most common threats.
Another misconception about WordPress is that it is just a blogging platform. While it’s true that WordPress did begin life as a blogging tool back in 2003, it has evolved exponentially over the years to become a powerful, fully-fledged CMS and the most popular on the market, powering over 30% of the world’s websites.
WordPress’ expansive library of themes and plugins have enabled DIYers to create sophisticated websites using just the WordPress.com hosted version. The WordPress.org self-hosted version opens up the customisation potential even further, giving developers access to backend code for advanced website functionality and looks.
The latter is the version that we work with. We’ve created a huge range of websites, from multi-million eCommerce powerhouses to high-end corporate brochure websites and plenty in between, we’ve used WordPress for a wide range of applications. In fact, of the 250+ websites we’ve created, only two have been specifically just blogs.
By default, WordPress is not an eCommerce platform. However, several plugins can easily introduce eCommerce functionality, the most popular being WooCommerce which accounts for roughly 29% of the eCommerce CMS market. WooCommerce is a powerful, highly scalable eCommerce tool that can either be installed on an existing site or used to create a completely new standalone online store. WooCommerce is easily customisable with most themes or through bespoke customisation to create a more bespoke shopping experience.
WooCommerce is also our favourite eCommerce solution for WordPress, and we’ve used it to create countless high performing online shops.
WordPress is often mistaken as being a platform for beginners, DIYers, bloggers or small businesses and not suitable for larger organisations or those with more high-level requirements. This couldn’t be further from the truth. WordPress is a comprehensive platform and a fully-fledged content management system. When crafted by experts, it can be incredibly scalable, delivering advanced solutions for big brands with complex requirements, branding, visuals and functionality.
Here are some big-name websites that you might not think were created using WordPress:
It’s a common myth that all WordPress websites have to look the same. The misconception is driven by the idea that WordPress is a closed-off system, similar to Wix and Squarespace, where you have to use one of the supplied themes. While it’s true that many WordPress websites are styled using readily available free themes, there are also thousands more free and premium themes available to allow you to create a much more personalised look and feel.
Furthermore, WordPress specialist agencies (like us) will also be able to build your site from scratch, stripping WordPress back to its core to create a fully-custom design so that your site looks like no other. Ultimately, with the right skills, you can make a WordPress website look and work, however you want it to.
We hope this blog has helped you determine fact from fiction when it comes to the WordPress platform. You can find out more about WordPress via our blog, or through registering for our newsletter.